INSPIRASEE OF THE MONTH:
MOHAMMAD ASHMEER S/O IMTIAZ AHMAD
Written by: Bariyyah
Mohd Ashmeer Imtiaz Ahmad has recently completed his undergraduate studies in Biomedical Sciences from the prestigious UBD in June 2020. He held multiple leadership roles during his university years. In 2016, he was appointed as the President of the UBD Students' Association (PMUBD) for two consecutive years until 2018 which involved organizing, managing and participating in events. During his Discovery Year, he was appointed as the Chairman of Bruneian students in UAE. Once he returned from UAE In June 2019, Ashmeer decided to join a Young Professional Network also known as YPN which is a social enterprise that promotes mentorship programs for youths. It started when Ashmeer saw an advertisement regarding YPN looking for a mentor, he then decided to grab that opportunity to broaden his leadership skills.
In early 2020, he took part in ‘Riadah Berbasikal’ in conjunction with the 36th National Day, in which he handled a few private agencies, governments, and school exhibitions. Additionally, he was the chair of the first exhibitions of the affection which was held at The Core, UBD, and apart from that, he has been a speaker for several events held by NGOs. In March 2020, Ashmeer joined the committee for Sukarelawan Belia as the head of the operation, which was established to assist the Ministry of Health in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak in Brunei. These were amongst the main leadership roles that Ashmeer held during his education life. In September 2020, he was one of the speakers and organizers for the Youth Town Hall event.
During the interview, Ashmeer emphasized that although we are busy with our academic life, that shouldn’t stop us from being involved in non-academic activities. One important soft skill he learned from his journey is time management. He advised that once we know how to manage time wisely we can balance between academic and non-academic ventures, it is just a matter of priorities. He says that through getting involved in non-academic activities, one can learn many skills such as people skills in terms of how to talk and deal with people as different people have different personalities, how to work in a team with the people you just met, how to execute a plan, and many more.
Ashmeer believes that PMUBD is a great platform for all the students. Thus, students should make full use of the association by being active, joining sports clubs, leadership programs, and the student councils as there are lots of opportunities.
When asked what inspired him to start his journey, he credits his parents and also Prophet Muhammad SAW story about leadership. Moreover, his love for lions because it is the king of the jungle and it leads by example. One of his favorite quotes is “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep”. Everyone in his team follows his example, he doesn’t want his team to be like him but to be themselves. Everyone has their own potential, different people have different backgrounds of leadership. He wants their lion traits to be out.
Whenever he is the leader of the team, he wants everyone to give their best, he pushes them to do their best so that they discover their potential in them. Leading by example sounds easy however it is challenging. Along the way in his academic life, he always gives his best and UBD has taught him a lot, especially beloved Razidah in the HR department and Dr. Nurol Iskandar, the current president's fellow graduates are the ones who support and inspire him during his MPP life.
Ashmeer feels that his greatest strength is that he can talk to and persuade people. He is not the type to run away from the problem but solves it on the spot. Furthermore, he doesn’t like to delay tasks, especially assignments, and devising plans for managing events. For him, the more he procrastinates, the more the work will be delayed and eventually, the work will pile up, causing stress. Although it is normal for humans to procrastinate, he feels that it is better to plan and prepare early. Another example Ashmeer gave is when it comes to praying, it is better to carry it out as soon as Adhan is called. At the end of the day, it is for our own good.
The most challenging thing for Ashmeer to handle in life is his academics; not because it is not manageable but because he is a student who needs to be at different places. His final project was research-based so he had to be in the lab but at the same time, there were clashes in his schedule so he had to organize his time properly. His research lab was at Pulaie and he needed to go back to UBD to continue his research and assignments as well. His assistant professors were supportive of him, constantly encouraging him and believing in his ability to manage both. Additionally, Ashmeer stressed that just because one is involved in non-academic activities, that does not mean that academics cannot be balanced equally. He pointed out MPP and MPR as good examples of balancing between extracurriculars and academics.
He receives lots of support from his friends, team, UBD officers including the senior management teams, and from Sukarelewan Belia, the seniors and officials of MPS. He feels fortunate to have a good support system but he does acknowledge the ones who are not but he believes that is where he can see room for improvement.
Ashmeer’s goals and hopes for the future are that he wants to see more young people taking the lead as he believes just the youth are young, it does not stop them from doing anything, rather it’s all about one’s mindset. ”Youth should be people who have the mindset that we can achieve Wawasan 2035 by having good academics, healthcare, and so on.” Moreover, youths taking lead to all opportunities that we have. “Some people are confident and overconfident, whatever we do let's be confident together and work in a team instead of being overconfident thinking that you can achieve it by yourself. The team should work together and if there is a problem solve it together,” said Ashmeer.
Ever since he was a child, he was advised to not be too involved with non-academic commitments, as it may lead to my poor academic results. However, he loves proving this statement wrong. Ashmeer feels that these leadership involvements have prepared him for the future, whereby multitasking and time management plays a huge part in daily survival. Hence, he would love to see more youth taking up this challenge. Ashmeer's scope of interest increased after all the opportunities he had gotten throughout his journey of volunteering. He gained more experience and got an insight into what is lacking in the communities and what improvements are being made as well as the improvements that could be made. “Maybe the first time we are just the participant and the second time, contributor, and the third time we can be the organizer of the event, we never know,” Ashmeer said. All in all, he hopes the youth will grab any opportunities presented to them.